[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Sat Jan 11 09:15:15 CST 2014

On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 5:39 PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

>  ...bear in mind that with the
> development of ZooBank, it is possible to include a field in the name
> registration process that requires any epithet to be registered
> explicitly as to whether it is a noun or an adjective, so it won't
> require debates by future generations of taxonomists. They can just look
> it up. Cleaning up the historical names in a similar fashion, through
> retrospective registration, is not as difficult as one might think.
As specific epithets are often repeatedly used, a compilation of them with
grammatical remarks could be a useful resource.  What are nouns that end in
-us, -a, or -um?  (cyllindrellus, corvus, and ebenus promptly come to mind
as ones that have been incorrectly treated as adjectives in mollusks)  What
are adjectives that don't follow the most common pattern (e.g., major)?
Why might someone erroneously change an epithet -tor to -trix?

The only serious problem that I know of regarding historical names is when
a name, of ambiguous gender as proposed, has a strong tradition of one use
but the rules point in another direction.  Specifically, the rules indicate
that -cola should be treated as masculine unless there is contrary
evidence.  Some widely used -cola genera were originally proposed as
subgenera and gave no evidence of gender, but are generally treated as

Dr. David Campbell
Assistant Professor, Geology
Department of Natural Sciences
Box 7270
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs NC 28017

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